Dr. Finkenberg describes how osteoporotic fractures can impact the spine.
Osteoporosis is a very common disease in our population in the States and really worldwide. Back in 2004 and even more recently they have done studies to show that anywhere from maybe one and a half to two million patients every year develop what they call fragility fractures or fractures secondary to bone being very hypodense or not having the cortical structure that you’d like it to have.
This osteoporosis can be diagnosed by getting a bone scan. We have the ability to tell whether you are osteopenic or osteoporotic. Those that are osteoporotic we recommend they consider medication which will decrease the amount of resorption of calcium you have in your bone.
In addition to that, we like people to take calcium, probably 1200 to 1500 milligrams a day, and vitamin D, somewhere between 400 and 800 international units a day. A combination of those two in addition to increased activity, and that’s weight-bearing activity, as well as the osteoporotic medication is a current medical treatment for osteoporosis.
Of that one million five hundred to two million fractures a year somewhere in the neighborhood of 700,000 to 900,000 of those fractures represent vertebra fractures. Once you have a vertebra fracture your incidence of developing a second vertebral fracture is 10 percent or greater. So this is important for you to realize that if these types of fractures are occurring, you need to speak with your primary physician who may get you in touch with a orthopedic specialist or endocrinologist to start you on that medication.
About Dr. Finkenberg, M.D.
Dr. John Finkenberg has been in practice at Alvarado Hospital for 16 years. He completed his undergraduate and medical degree at UCLA. Following his orthopedic residency at Harbor/UCLA, he received fellowship training in Advanced Spinal Reconstruction Surgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland.
Dr. Finkenberg’s great interest in the advancement of spinal surgery developed from 15 years as a spine consultant assisting with the creation of new technology and procedures. He is a primary investigator for multi-center national research studies and lectures around the world on current research projects.